Saturday, May 07, 2005

Propaganda Machine tools: Transfer

"Transfer is a device by which the propagandist carries over the authority, sanction, and prestige of something we respect and revere to something he would have us accept. For example, most of us respect and revere our church and our nation. If the propagandist succeeds in getting church or nation to approve a campaign in behalf of some program, he thereby transfers its authority, sanction, and prestige to that program. Thus, we may accept something, which otherwise we might reject. In the Transfer device, symbols are constantly used. The cross represents the Christian Church. The flag represents the nation. Cartoons like Uncle Sam represent a consensus of public opinion. Those symbols stir emotions. At their very sight, with the speed of light, is aroused the whole complex of feelings we have with respect to church or nation. A cartoonist, by having Uncle Sam disapprove a budget for unemployment relief, would have us feel that the whole United States disapproves relief costs. By drawing an Uncle Sam who approves the same budget, the cartoonist would have us feel that the American people approve it. Thus, the Transfer device is used both for and against causes and ideas." (Institute for Propaganda Analysis, 1938)

The 9/11 attack and the subsequent, “War on Terror” have provided the GOP and the Bush administration with a canvas of fear in which they have been able to skillfully paint in broad strokes of transfer symbolism. The flag is of course the most widely used transfer symbol. Other related symbols have been created to broaden or reinforce the emotional appeal of the flag. The most recent widely propagated; “Support the Troops” graphic has shown up in almost every imaginable form. Both spoken and written transfer tools have also been be widely used to gain acceptance for the current administrations disastrous policies. References to religion, specifically the Christian religion, are widely used to transfer a type of moral authority to their aberrant policies. The goal of transfer, like all propaganda tools is to stimulate an emotional response. The attachment of emotional symbolism of the flag, combined with a reference to the Christian God, followed by a prayer to that God, could wrap even the most insane idea in a protective coating of emotional responses. The ultimate goal of the propagandist is lead their victims to the point where their decisions are non-logical or non-intuitive. The last thing the propagandist wants is decisions based solely on the objective analysis.



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